Injuries & Pain

Pain issues and injuries in yoga

This page is all about trying to understand the things that can help prevent or reduce the risk of getting an injury or pain and what to do if you get one. It’s not just about being broken but also about good ways of practicing, engaging, aligning and balancing. Lots of these posts have been spread across the website so hopefully with everything in one place you can learn and research what will be useful for you. It’s fair to…

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Interpertation of pain and injury in context of Ashtanga Yoga practice

System thinking pain and yoga injury

Foreword from Stu Girling First of all I want to say that I really love the way Iain writes and that he has the conviction to always say exactly what he is thinking. For this particular post I felt it was necessary to put a little bit from me up front as the views put forward are so opposite to mine. So why am I posting it you may ask. Well the answer is very simple. As a resource site…

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Dark Night of the Meniscus

Knee flexed anterior

Knee injuries are unfortunately too common with yoga practitioners. Karen Kirkness explains some of what might be going on with meniscus tears and how to prevent it. So many yogis are dealing with knee issues. I’ve heard these maladies described as: clunky, dodgy, sore, noisy, tight, overstretched, tender, and painful. One of the common sources of these sensations is the meniscus. The meniscus of the knee is a fibrocartilaginous disc whose name is derived from the Greek “meniskos” or crescent, for its crescent-shaped appearance on the tibial plateau.

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What’s the Problem with Your Shoulder?

Shoulder Arm Balance

Our shoulder is a precision instrument that simultaneously has a vast scope in its range of motion. With pinpoint precision we can synchronise our shoulder muscles to maneuver our arm to point our finger precisely at our object of choice – an action that requires the coordinated recruitment of numerous muscles that surround our shoulder joint like a clock.

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Tingling and Numbness in Yoga Poses

Brachial plex

Pins and needles, or a burning sensation running down the leg, or just a bit of tingling in the fingers? Many meditators and yogishave had them too: should you be worried? What is causing these sensations, and what should you do about them? Certainly, the way we move and hold our body can cause these uncomfortable sensations, but there may be a more serious problem lurking that you will want to investigate further.

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Yoga Therapy for Hamstring Injuries

Monica Gauci Purvottanasana

If you’ve ever had an injury at your hamstring injury, you will know about it! You’ll go from comfortable forward bending one day to dramatically restricted, often painful forward bends the next day. This injury occurs where the tendon of the hamstring muscle knits into the membranous lining of the bone, the periosteum. In this case it is where the periosteum covers the ischial tuberosity or sit-bone. Often this is not a tear of the tendon itself but an avulsion, where the periosteum has been pulled or torn away from the bone.

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Putting the Curve Back in Your Neck (Saving Your Neck 3)

Monica Gauci parsva janushirsasana

Although we usually think and talk about muscles as being weak or strong, closer to the truth is that muscles are usually inhibited or facilitated, respectively. Inhibition is when neural input (from our nervous system) to the muscle has been down-regulated. Facilitation is the opposite, when neural input to a muscle is excessive or up-regulated. Facilitated muscles are often those muscles compensating for the loss of input into a movement pattern that should come from the muscle that is inhibited.

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You Were Born to Gaze at the Stars (Saving Your Neck 2)

Cervical spine

In Part 1 we looked at some of the biomechanics of neck problems and especially how to eliminate unnecessary tension in our neck when weight-bearing on our hands. In yoga asanas we commonly take our head back, extending our head and neck. Students are often cautious and hold back with this movement, concerned that it may hurt their neck. However, our necks are perfectly designed that we can gaze at the stars with wonder and delight!

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Understanding the Biomechanics of Neck (Saving Your Neck 1)

Giraff neck

Our necks are one of the most vulnerable parts of our body and once we have a neck problem they can be complex to resolve.There are a few reasons why the neck cops the brunt of it. Firstly the neck or cervical spine has the greatest range of movement possible in the entire spine. This is partially due to the specific angle of the facet joints that connect each vertebra to the next but also due to the high ratio of vertebral body to disc height.

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First Do No Harm: an M.D. on Asana-Related Injuries

Body worlds

Doctors and yoga teachers have the same first principle: Do No Harm. If we do things blindly, and if we don’t mine data, we won’t fulfill that principle. — Dr. Raza AwanWhat I love about listening to Dr. Awan talk about yoga injuries is that he has all the relaxation of someone with no conflict of interest. He’s the medical director for Synergy Sports Medicine in Toronto, so he can show up for an intense yoga injuries discussion forum on a Thursday night, drop some data-bombs, and go back to work on Friday morning like nothing happened.

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